Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Originally published in: Monday Magazine

Album: We're Unstoppable
Deathwish Inc. (www.deathwishinc.com)

Random thoughts: Too bad this band broke up last year. They were one of the few hardcore bands that mattered any more.

They’re Unstoppable
Blacklisted know true meaning of hardcore

By Jason Schreurs

I’ve written about lots of hardcore/punk bands trying to capture the essence of the hardcore scene, and how it has the ability to bring people together under the common desire to scream out against the injustices of the world. But explaining hardcore to someone who doesn’t understand it is a tough one, especially to older generations who look down upon kids who listen to loud, screaming music and complain about the anger and negativity of the lyrics. If only we could get George Hirsch, singer for Philadelphia’s Blacklisted, to set them all straight.
“Positivity lies in the person…” begins Hirsch, “but anger is a natural emotion, everyone feels angry, or just aggressive at some points in their lives. I don’t write much about the positive sides of things, mostly because I really just don’t feel positive about the state of things in my life. I’m pessimistic and I’ve grown to realize and understand it is OK to feel like that.”
Blacklisted’s latest CD, a collection of their earlier material previously available on the rapidly disappearing vinyl format, has the rather bold title of We’re Unstoppable. And while that kind of title may rub some people the wrong way, this one actually has a message of perseverance and dedication.
"Hardcore is unstoppable,” explains Hirsh, “no one person is above or below it, anyone can be into it, anyone can hate it, you have a choice, and we just chose to love it, I guess… [The album title] does have a bit of ego involved though, because it is like a laugh in the face of people that tell me or any of us we can’t do something. We can do whatever we want…”
Even with mainstream acceptance of bands slogging what is being passed off as a hardcore sound (Ontario’s Alexisonfire immediately comes to mind), true hardcore bands like Blacklisted, inspired by underground hardcore scenes in places like their hometown of Philly, aren’t as interested in mass appeal. Instead, they focus on reaching out to those who are already questioning authority, and creating an abrasive sound that forces people to perk up and take notice.
“As long as you are doing what you are feeling, someone out there will understand,” explains Hirsch, “and if 100 people hate it, but five really felt what you were saying and feel as though they can relate, then you’ve done justice to hardcore in my eyes.”

For more info, go to: myspace.com/blacklisted

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